Life extension for Argentina’s Embalse NPP

7 September 2016

The second pair of 130t replacement steam generators (SGs) has been delivered to Argentina’s Embalse NPP as part of a project to extend the operating period of the Candu pressurised heavy-water reactor by up to 30 years. The first two steam generators arrived at the site on 11 August. All four were manufactured by power equipment manufacturer IMPSA at its plant in Mendoza. Special trucks were used to transport them in pairs to the Embalse plant, with each journey taking about four days. The SGs have been placed in a purpose-built storage facility at Embalse pending installation.

The 648MWe (gross) Candu pressurized heavy-water reactor at Embalse NPP has been shut down since 31 December 2015, when it reached the end of its 30-year design life.  It was built by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd in the early 1980s as Argentina's second NPP, and was connected to the grid in 1983. It will undergo a maintenance and refurbishment outage that will involve replacement of core reactor components to enable the plant to continue operating for a further 30 years. The upgrading work will also increase the reactor’s generating capacity to 683MWe.

Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NASA) president, Rubén Omar Semmoloni said: "This project allows us to develop our own capabilities, substitute imports, as well as conclude that it is impossible to carry out the development of our country if not through the training of specialized human resources and boosting the domestic industry to bridge the technological gap with developed countries."



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